Gutter Downspouts: Purposes, Installation Tips, and Benefits
Downspouts are essential parts of a home’s drainage system. They are extensions attached to gutters, and they help in draining rainwater from the roof and away from the house’s foundation. While downspouts may not the attention they deserve, they are just as important as the gutters in a home’s drainage system. As such, it is recommended that homeowners work with home inspectors in checking their gutters and downspouts as part of roof inspections.
Essential Requirements for Gutter Downspouts
Before installing gutter downspouts for your drainage system, homeowners should ensure that the gutters are adequately sized. This helps prevent runoff as a mismatch between the volume of gutters and downspouts may affect the drainage of rainwater by the downspouts.
Home inspectors also advise that downspouts should divert water 4-6 feet away from the foundation of your home. For areas that receive frequent and heavy precipitation, water runoff may amount to thousands of gallons.
Without the proper channeling of such runoff properly, the water can easily find its way to the foundation and then wick to the interior of the house. With moisture accumulation in the house, homeowners could soon be dealing with mold growth or wood rot, not to mention poor indoor air quality.
Homeowners should also carry out frequent checks to establish the condition of the gutter downspouts. In the case of jointed downspouts, homeowners should ensure that there are no disjoints to prevent any leaks that may cause damage to walls and other parts of the house.
Installation and Maintenance Tips for Gutter Downspouts
While running checks for your drainage system, it is important to inspect all parts collectively, as they all work harmoniously in draining rainwater. Homeowners should, therefore, adhere to the following installation and maintenance tips for their gutter downspouts:
- Ensure your gutters and downspouts are debris-free. The accumulation of leaves and other types of debris poses the greatest threat to your gutter system. Accumulation of debris in the gutter and the downspout will cause blockage, and the drainage of water from the roof will, therefore, be affected.
Home inspectors and roofing experts advise homeowners to use gutter fillers or gutter guards to prevent the accumulation of any debris in the gutters, which ensures continuous drainage of rainwater.
- Install oversized downspouts. This may seem rather mistaken, but installing oversized downspouts is actually beneficial to your gutter system. They help accommodate different volumes of runoff, and homeowners don’t have to worry even when the rain falls beyond the usual levels.
- Ensure that elbows are fitted correctly. For homeowners who fancy DIY roofing tasks, the attachment of elbows should be done correctly to ensure that the drainage system remains leak-free. The elbow attached to the gutter and that attached to the wall of the house should both be fixed carefully to prevent any leaks.
- Extend your downspouts. Your gutter downspouts should not terminate close to the walls or the house’s foundation. As such, it is advisable to extend the downspouts during installation, or attach a flexible downspout extension, to direct rainwater away from the house.
Benefits of Well Maintained Gutter Downspouts
Even without considering the major damages of rainwater to your home, well-maintained gutter downspouts ensure that your house’s walls remain in great condition. By maintaining leak-free gutter downspouts, homeowners can forget about stained walls due to the splashing of water over time.
Avoid Water Pools in the Basement
Prolonged leakages lead to water seepage to the foundation, which in turn leads to the wicking of the water to the basement. Stagnant water pools in the basement may lead to serious structural damage to a home.
What’s worse, the development of mold in the basement and other rooms in the house may lead to poor air quality, making the living environment unfavorable. As such, ensuring that the downspouts are well-maintained and that they drain water away from the house helps prevent the case of flooding in the basement.
Gutter downspouts are vital parts of a home’s drainage system as they direct runoff from the roof away from the house or to a water harvesting system. Proper installation and maintenance of downspouts, therefore, help keep the house walls in good condition. Additionally, it ensures that the basement doesn’t get flooded, therefore maintaining favorable living conditions in the house.